Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:46 am 
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This programme is coming up on BBC2 next Friday.

It looks to be very different from the usual take on the Nelson story.

I hope they have made a good job of it.

Meanwhile I'm looking forward to seeing it.

http://www.radiotimes.com/episode/dgsx8w/nelson-in-his-own-words


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 Post subject: Re: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:04 pm 
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I settled down a few minutes ago to watch this programme on BBC2 - only to discover, this being Wales, that there is a pitchful of 'muddied oafs' playing rugby instead. Gah!


A summary would be much appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:41 am 
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Anna

It looks to me as if you could have caught it on BBC Wales tonight at 9pm (Saturday). But seeing as it is now 11.30pm probably a bit late to be telling you that.

I will try and post a fuller critique some other time but in brief - I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED IT.

Having said that my opinions are very often at odds with others so I would be pleased to hear from anyone else who found it good, bad or otherwise.

Ciao for now.

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:35 pm 
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I wasn't impressed, to be honest. I like the premise, but the actor spoke with all the passion of a potato. And I couldn't work out if he was going for the 'traditional' English accent and was trying to hide his own regional accent, or if he was attempting to reproduce a Norfolk accent but kept forgetting - whichever it was, it didn't work, and I was hoping for the 'Norfolk drawl'... but I'm being picky!

I think if I hadn't have already been so familiar with the Nelson story and most of the letters that were read from, I would have found it a bit confusing at times.

Was also irritated by Sam Willis. Almost mockingly stating that the remarkable letter Nelson wrote to St Vincent shortly after his arm was amputated (and I really think they should have read the whole letter, but anyway) was child-like and manipulative, because of the "a one-armed admiral shall never be as useful" thing (which couldn't possibly have been because Nelson had just lost his right arm, was in a great deal of pain, sinking into depression and genuinely uncertain about his career prospects, could it?), was ridiculous. I was also unsure of his assertion that Nelson's failure to single out any officers in his dispatch after the Battle of the Nile was a deliberate attempt to stamp on James Saumarez, because he was threatened by him? I don't think I've read anything to particularly support that point of view.

Thoroughly enjoyed the inputs from the other contributors however, especially John Sugden and Marianne Czisnik.

I did also like the emphasis towards the end on how discovering domestic bliss with Emma and Horatia changed him.

Overall I found it ok, quite watchable. But possibly my expectations were too high :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:48 am 
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Hi Vicki

I was expecting to be in a minority of one on this - I usually am so nothing new there! LOL

Maybe it's because I was expecting the worst or just the mood I was in (although I promise not a single drop had passed my lips) - but as I say I did quite enjoy it!!

I was certainly pleased to see John Sugden. First time I have seen him anywhere in the media and I thought he came over very well.

And - shock horror - I quite liked the way that Jonathan Slinger played Nelson. There was definitely something not quite right with the accent, but for me it didn't seriously detract from the rest of the performance.

Before I say any more I might even watch it again. See if like it as much second time round.

Meanwhile if others want to side against me no probs. I've developed very broad shoulders over the years. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:25 am 
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Thanks for comments, both.

A friend to whom I was bemoaning the rugby substitution seemed astonished that I hadn't caught up with the docudrama on iplayer. What an old Luddite I am! But I'll remedy things as soon as possible and add my comments.

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 Post subject: Re: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:19 am 
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Just finished watching it on a rather jumpy iplayer.

Well, I too enjoyed it. I was expecting lots of narration with mime but no words from the actors (a common practice as it cuts production costs - lower fees for non-speaking actors.) So I enjoyed the portrayal by Jonathan Slinger, though the accent was more West Country than Norfolk. I thought he conveyed the spirit of the letters very well.

I agree with Starhawk about Sam Willis's cock-eyed comments. Nelson's self-pitying comments are excusable in a depressed and cruelly wounded man: not a statement of fact but a plea for contradiction, I think. There would have been no problem about continuing his career, would there? The navy had a whole raft of one-armed, one-legged or one-eyed officers (and men).

As for the comments after the Nile. It is known that Nelson and Samaurez were not soul-mates; but Nelson's lavish praise of all his captains excluded no one. Foley, who was the inspiration behind the attack, received no specific mention either. Nelson's praise for all, without specific names, gave full credit without running the risk of causing jealousies. Commanders have a careful line to tread!

I also liked the way that Emma's contribution to making Nelson a fulfilled man as well as a sailor was well done.

All in all, I think this was pretty good, considering the amount of compression required in a brief film like this.

Just as an afterthought: I wonder if Nelson would have been prepared to settle for the rural idyll had he survived Trafalgar. he was such a vigorous, active man, I feel sure he would have sought a role beyond the domestic.

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 Post subject: Re: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:19 am 
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Just finished watching it on a rather jumpy iplayer.

Well, I too enjoyed it. I was expecting lots of narration with mime but no words from the actors (a common practice as it cuts production costs - lower fees for non-speaking actors.) So I enjoyed the portrayal by Jonathan Slinger, though the accent was more West Country than Norfolk. I thought he conveyed the spirit of the letters very well.

I agree with Starhawk about Sam Willis's cock-eyed comments. Nelson's self-pitying comments are excusable in a depressed and cruelly wounded man: not a statement of fact but a plea for contradiction, I think. There would have been no problem about continuing his career, would there? The navy had a whole raft of one-armed, one-legged or one-eyed officers (and men).

As for the comments after the Nile. It is known that Nelson and Samaurez were not soul-mates; but Nelson's lavish praise of all his captains excluded no one. Foley, who was the inspiration behind the attack, received no specific mention either. Nelson's praise for all, without specific names, gave full credit without running the risk of causing jealousies. Commanders have a careful line to tread!

I also liked the way that Emma's contribution to making Nelson a fulfilled man as well as a sailor was handled.

All in all, I think this was pretty good, considering the amount of compression required in a brief film like this.

Just as an afterthought: I wonder if Nelson would have been prepared to settle for the rural idyll had he survived Trafalgar. he was such a vigorous, active man, I feel sure he would have sought a role beyond the domestic.

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 Post subject: Re: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:06 am
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Just finished watching it on a rather jumpy iplayer.

Well, I too enjoyed it. I was expecting lots of narration with mime but no words from the actors (a common practice as it cuts production costs - lower fees for non-speaking actors.) So I enjoyed the portrayal by Jonathan Slinger, though the accent was more West Country than Norfolk. I thought he conveyed the spirit of the letters very well.

I agree with Starhawk about Sam Willis's cock-eyed comments. Nelson's self-pitying comments are excusable in a depressed and cruelly wounded man: not a statement of fact but a plea for contradiction, I think. There would have been no problem about continuing his career, would there? The navy had a whole raft of one-armed, one-legged or one-eyed officers (and men).

As for the comments after the Nile. It is known that Nelson and Samaurez were not soul-mates; but Nelson's lavish praise of all his captains excluded no one. Foley, who was the inspiration behind the attack, received no specific mention either. Nelson's praise for all, without specific names, gave full credit without running the risk of causing jealousies. Commanders have a careful line to tread!

I also liked the way that Emma's contribution to making Nelson a fulfilled man as well as a sailor was recognised.

All in all, I think this was pretty good, considering the amount of compression required in a brief film like this.

Just as an afterthought: I wonder if Nelson would have been prepared to settle for the rural idyll had he survived Trafalgar. He was such a vigorous, active man, I feel sure he would have sought a role beyond the domestic.

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 Post subject: Re: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:53 pm 
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Anna
I enjoyed it too. I thought the attempt to make Nelson sound ‘Norfolk’ was interesting though the producers baulked at doing the same for Lady Hamilton who sounded as if she had been to Cheltenham Ladies College. Perhaps that would have been an accent too far.
I agree too on the potential minefield of a commander-in-chief’s battle report. Howe’s, which named only a few captains, caused bitter recriminations after the Glorious First of June, and St Vincent learnt the lesson and kept his brief after the St Valentine’s Day Battle – to Nelson’s annoyance. Interesting that when Nelson was in the position of being the reporter rather than reportee, he realised the wisdom of this and also avoided specifics.
Nelson’s anxiety about his future after the Tenerife is perfectly understandable. He had managed to get his foot on the bottom of the flag ladder due largely to St Vincent who had confidence in him and had given him opportunities to show activity and zeal in the Mediterranean. But his position was precarious. He had had to advertise his contribution to the Battle of St Vincent and was a very junior flag officer without great ‘interest’ in Parliament and Whitehall. There were loads of rear admirals senior to him who had plenty of interest and were unemployed, and he might well have thought that this (second) physical impairment would tip the balance against him by raising a question mark over his physical capacities. There was also plenty of opposition from more senior rivals who thought they had a better claim to command the detached squadron sent in search of Bonaparte. Fortunately for him, St Vincent was St Vincent – stubborn, irascible and incapable of altering an opinion or a decision once he had made it.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Nelson docudrama on BBC2
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:44 pm 
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As a Norfolk man I've never heard a convincing imitation of the Norfolk accent by a 'foreigner' so I was neither surprised nor disappointed by the actor's sorry effort.

it appears from other's comments that I'm not the only one who finds Sam Willis bit of a smug lightweight!

Brian is spot on with the comparison between Jervis's Dispatch after St Vincent and Nelson's after the Nile. The difference of course was that Samaurez was too much of a gentleman to blow his own trumpet.

Ray


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